Making Talismans was my first book and it did really well. But I wrote it nearly 14 years ago so I am going through it and updating it with my more recent thoughts. This is particularly important when it comes to the Golden Dawn references as I need to rewrite the Golden Dawn ritual now I am a lot more experienced in the Z docs. I am also laying it out, adding in new diagrams, some of Paola’s illustrations and a few more chapters based on some of my later papers. There is little that I got wrong when I wrote it, and the central ideas I still agree with. It is just my technique is a little different and, I think, much better. But if things had not changed considerably in 14 years there would be something wrong.
“It clear that the author is drawing on initiatory experiences and oral traditions in the various GD related groups he has been active in. While reading, one is left with the impression that much of the information without citation is blended oral tradition and the author’s own opinions, all of which I enjoyed reading. While it is written from the attitude of a practitioner, and as has already been mentioned, therefore has no obligatory requirement to take up a specific methodology in its approach; nonetheless, as a reader I was so captivated by some of the stories so much that I wished to know more about the sources of some of the information. A small criticism and request would therefore be that I would have liked to have seen even more historical citations presented whenever it was possible. As this book already shows all the hallmarks of a title that will be much sought-after for years to come, I expect will likely be slated for re-prints. “
“The foray into Mathers and the old Golden Dawn’s history was well done. Particularly the sections on Mathers possible political motives and some of his treme associations in Right Wing politics were new to me, as I expect they will be to many of King’s readers. I thoroughly enjoyed the political section of the book, while the publication of some of these older documents has been long overdue. The slight dabs of layman’s psycho-analysis were warranted and will be much appreciated to anyone following a magical path. I have always felt that a genuine magician’s primary goals would be tertiary in nature: first, to develop a specialised skill-set; second, to better oneself; and third, to improve the world around us. Wisdom and insight are two inner constitutions life’s maturity can take, regardless if one is working to better oneself through a magical path or not, and in this regard, ribald humour aside, King delivers.”
“These commentaries were interesting, and I particularly valued those on the Vault. The section on the Vault walls was good, as well as the typescript and reprinted sections from an original MSS of Book of the Tomb, which is not available in print anywhere else; it has literally been a long-lost document to many of us. Now we finally have the painting instructions for the inside of the Pastos that are missing from all other published Golden Dawn books.”
“Furthermore, the author offers a personal dialogue about his efforts building a Vault. While I do not always agree with the more personal magical theories presented in King Over the Water, no matter, because they are worthy as an Adept-level considerations, they are thought-provoking and intelligent, and so I enjoyed pondering them. I really can not emphasise this enough. This level of Golden Dawn work is valuable, and by finally printing the Book of the Tomb and providing an insightful Commentary, this book proves to be an excellent reference and will take its place as the primary resource for Vault construction. For anyone serious magical practitioner of the Golden Dawn tradition, this tiny section alone is worth many times the cover price.”
“The section on S.L. Mathers is about two-thirds of the book, and is therefore the main feature of attention; however, the original documents such as The Book of the Tomb and the full versions of the Alpha et Omega’s Z Documents, which are both printed here in full for the first time, are where this book really shines for the researcher. There is also a solid document on colour written by an anonymous modern Adept that is informative and helpful.”
“The pencil or charcoal sketches by Paola Farrell also deserve mention. They are very beautiful, and these pieces add a dimension and an elegance to the book that is lacking from other new books on the same subject that are inexplicably peopled with the usual fare of clip-art, or photocopied and pixleated wood-cut images.”
“All-in-all, I think this book is an invaluable addition to the corpus of Golden Dawn reference books, and I am appreciative of its variety of contents. As the years pass, I feel this is a volume that generations of magicians will be grateful to have access to; and I would not be surprised if various Adepts are now repainting sections of their Pastos and Vault based on these newly available instructions! I have really enjoyed reading this book, and I encourage people to buy this and study it well, your efforts will be well repaid.”
Thanks great review. BTW I am working getting a Kindle version out at the moment and this should not be far away.